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Journal of Arid Land

Article Title

Time lag characteristics of sap flow in seed-maize and their implications for modeling transpiration in an arid region of Northwest China

Abstract

Plant capacity for water storage leads to time lags between basal stem sap flow and transpiration in various woody plants. Internal water storage depends on the sizes of woody plants. However, the changes and its influencing factors in time lags of basal stem flow during the development of herbaceous plants including crops remain unclear. A field experiment was conducted in an arid region of Northwest China to examine the time lag characteristics of sap flow in seed-maize and to calibrate the transpiration modeling. Cross-correlation analysis was used to estimate the time lags between stem sap flow and meteorological driving factors including solar radiation (Rs) and vapor pressure deficit of the air (VPDair). Results indicate that the changes in seed-maize stem sap flow consistently lagged behind the changes in Rs and preceded the changes in VPDair both on hourly and daily scales, suggesting that light-mediated stomatal closures drove sap flow responses. The time lag in the maize’s sap flow differed significantly during different growth stages and the difference was potentially due to developmental changes in capacitance tissue and/or xylem during ontogenesis. The time lags between stem sap flow and Rs in both female plants and male plants corresponded to plant use of stored water and were independent of total plant water use. Time lags of sap flow were always longer in male plants than in female plants. Theoretically, dry soil may decrease the speed by which sap flow adjusts ahead of shifts in VPDair in comparison with wet soil and also increase the speed by which sap flow adjusts to Rs. However, sap flow lags that were associated with Rs before irrigation and after irrigation in female plants did not shift. Time series analysis method provided better results for simulating seed-maize sap flow with advantages of allowing for fewer variables to be included. This approach would be helpful in improving the accuracy of estimation for canopy transpiration and conductance using meteorological measurements.

Keywords

seed-maize; sap flow; capacitance; transfer function model; time lag; stored water use

First Page

515

Last Page

529

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